One of the biggest frustrations with health

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LuckyLindy
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 226
   Posted 7/21/2009 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   
One of the biggest frustrations with health is finding the root cause of our problems. If more practitioners could focus on doing so, we'd be much better. Here's what I felt was an amazing example (sorry it's a bit lengthy, but hopefully you'll find it interesting/relevant):

Exec at my company had horrible lower and mid arm pain, so bad he could barely type, couldn't bathe without assistance, and required his son to drive him around. He sits at the computer a lot, and his livelihood is dependent on his ability to type. The doctors sent him home with painkillers. This starts the symptom/"solution" chain:

Symptom: Arm pain
Caused by: ???
Family doc solution -> mild painkillers / NSAIDs

Later tests and MRIs showed massive inflammation around his elbows, and they gave him heavier anti-inflammatory drugs/painkillers:

Symptom: Arm pain
Caused by: inflammation?
MD solution -> prescription anti-inflammatory and painkillers

After a few months, the pain kept getting worse, and the painkillers were affecting his work. He went to a surgeon, who decided the inflammation was caused because his tendons and muscles were rubbing against the bone incorrectly. Literally recommended cutting off his muscles and re-attaching

Symptom: Arm pain
Caused by: inflammation
Caused by: bone rubbing against tendon/muscle
Surgeon solution -> cut and re-attach, 6 months rehabilitation

The exec refused, and saw a physical therapist, who said his muscles were too tight and that caused the problem.

Symptom: Arm pain
Caused by: inflammation
Caused by: bone rubbing against tendon/muscle
Caused by: tight muscles
PT solution -> therapy

3 months of PT helped some, but still had problems. He began reconsidering surgery, and asked me to discuss his case with my wife (a Chiropractor). Without seeing him, her first question was "does he rest his arms on the end of his desk while typing?".

Symptom: Arm pain
Caused by: inflammation
Caused by: bone rubbing against tendon/muscle
Caused by: tight muscles
Caused by: poorly configured workspace
Chiro solution -> reconfigure desk

Upon changing his desk configuration, his problems stopped immediately. Through dozens of doctors visits, he was never asked this simple question.

Every problem has a cause. That cause can often be found if the doctor asks themselves "why" enough times and follows up. Unfortunately most MDs don't have time to do so, or have already bought into the "treat the symptoms with drugs" mentality. Many patients aren't willing to address the root cause either. "I'll just take lipitor" is a much easier course than diet/lifestyle modification. Finally, some problems have an unknown cause (e.g. UC), and trying to find the root cause is like getting rid of groundhogs by covering up their holes - another one always pops up.

In the end though, I think you're always best to find someone who is willing to drill down into your symptoms a bit to find out the root cause of your problems.

LuckyLindy
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 226
   Posted 7/21/2009 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Strange, this was supposed to be in response to:
Chiropractic and UC

I guess I hit the wrong button ... oops!

subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 7/21/2009 11:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Reminds me of a co-worker who had thoracic outlet syndrome. He was in much pain and was advised to get surgery. However, he didn't have insurance; so he kept putting it off. He did have some chiropractic treatments, but they weren't much help. Then he met a woman and went on a diet. Magically, his pain went away. He said, "I wish the doctors had told me that all I had to do was loose weight to cure my pain."

I had x-rays done once by a chiropractor. He said my back bone was in excellent condition, better than 98% of the people he sees my age. However, my neck was projecting forward. I know it's from sitting at the desk, typing at my computer all day long. I did notice afterward that I was also sleeping this way. So I started making sure my neck was straight before falling asleep, and this has helped tremendously. However, I think some chiropractic treatment will also help. I'm just afraid to get treatment on my neck. Is it dangerous?
Joy - 47 yrs and counting; Dx Colitis Dec 06 (also had IBS); Currently in remission

Figuring out how to reduce a flare or get into remission is a trial and error experience. Don't expect your GI to have all the answers. He was trained in making diagnoses, prescribing medications, and surgically removing the colon. He was not trained in alternative treatments. That's why they are called alternative treatments.

What works for me: Fecal transplantation, Probiotics, Anti-inflammatory foods, No HFCS, No foods high in fructose, No artificial sweeteners, No pro-inflammatory foods when flaring, Vitamins, Lexapro (for stress).


LuckyLindy
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 226
   Posted 7/22/2009 12:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Generally neck adjustments are not dangerous. There have never been any studies confirming a risk of injury, which means that if there is a risk it is VERY minimal. If you are nervous, let the Chiropractor know you'd like a lighter adjustment on your neck. Or you could ask him to use drops or a mechanical adjustment.
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